She was the hard-working and popular owner of a Huddersfield antiques shop for 40 years.
And Mrs Celia Singh, who has died at the age of 86, had a reputation for being able to get hold of anything that a customer wanted.
Mrs Singh was married for 49 years to Prof Arjan Kirpal Singh, a university lecturer, who relocated from London to Fixby in 1965 and then to Gledholt in 1976.
From 1967 to 1969 she trained as a nurse and worked at the former St Lukes Hospital in Crosland Moor and Huddersfield Royal Infirmary, leaving there to take a post as Deputy Matron at Clare House with her lifelong friend and Matron of the home, Anne Thomas.
In 1971 Mrs Singh became owner of a mini supermarket in Elland, running it for three years, but her keen interest in antiques and an eye for a bargain prompted her to open the Sundal Emporium bric-a-brac and antique shop on Westbourne Road, Marsh, which she owned for 40 years.
Many residents of Huddersfield have fond memories of buying items of interest from Mrs Singh and spending a happy hour or so rummaging through the array of goods she had to sell. People would drop in for a chat and a coffee and she was well known to the other local business owners who wheeled and dealed in the second hand market.
No matter what you needed Mrs Singh had a reputation for being able to get it for you, from prams to pedal bikes, washers to wardrobes, coats to cots, tea sets to TVs, sofas to sinks, and pianos to paintings. It was amusing to pass the shop and see all these items stacked high on the pavement area outside often with a crowd of people searching for a bargain that was sure to be had. The following day would bring a different display and no matter what the weather, curious buyers would be seen looking for the latest deal.
Mrs Singh’s establishment became a local landmark and the place to visit and she was fondly written about in novels by the Huddersfield author Deric Longden, author, with a picture of the shop appearing on the dust cover of one of his books.
She was also a force to be reckoned with at the local auctioneers of Bramleys and Eddisons, and could be seen sitting near the front and bidding on all the items on offer. If you didn’t get in quick Mrs Singh was sure to buy anything going and the auctioneers got to rely on her as the person to take most of the goods and remove them for sale to her shop.
It was comical to see one of her drivers precariously balance a piano on his trailer attached to a Reliant Robin and watch it slowly make its way through town to Marsh, and many a time, half a wardrobe, which had fallen off en-route, would be left for collection later on the side of Trinity Street.
Mrs Singh worked until she was 82 and her daughter Amrit said: “Following retirement, she would often be stopped in Huddersfield by people who had very fond memories of her and the items they had bought over the past 40 years, stating that ‘there would never be a shop like Mrs Singh’s’ and how much they missed it.
“She touched so many people with her generosity, happy demeanour and kind hearted nature and will be remembered for her warm smile, sense of humour and as a person who always wanted the best for everyone”.
She leaves two children, Manjit and Amrit, and grandchildren.
A funeral service will be held on Thursday, January 15, at 12.30pm at Huddersfield Crematorium, Fixby.